Plenty of other moves may have grabbed the headlines at the MLB trade deadline, but the Atlanta Braves making a deal with the Los Angeles Angels to acquire relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias could well be the one that has benefitted a team the most.
Raisel Iglesias coming to the Atlanta Braves is the gift that keeps on giving
Acquired at the MLB trade deadline for pitchers Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson, Iglesias has been a force inside an already sturdy Atlanta Braves bullpen. In 24.1 innings spanning 26 games in Atlanta, the 32-year-old right-hander has allowed just two runs (one earned) while striking out 27 and walking just four. Opposing batters are hitting just .188 against him as he has posted a 0.37 ERA and 1.51 FIP in a Braves uniform.
Used as the closer with the Angels, Iglesias has settled in nicely as the setup option for closer Kenley Jansen in Atlanta. Iglesias could be used in late innings as a closer option if needed, but manager Brian Snitker has employed him just once in a save opportunity, and that came back on August 13. In the meantime, Iglesias has racked up 13 holds.
Not only has Iglesias been a great addition for the Braves, but the cost to acquire him went down tremendously when the Angels released Chavez on August 29. Atlanta quickly snatched him back up and the 39-year-old Chavez has clicked again in his second stint in the Braves bullpen, posting a 2.03 ERA in 13.1 innings over 13 games.
A perfect illustration of the impact of the Iglesias trade came on Saturday night in a pivotal game against the New York Mets. Called upon in the eighth inning, Iglesias struck out two in his scoreless inning of work, setting the table for Jansen to record his 39th save of the campaign. And who worked a scoreless inning before Iglesias went to the mound? Chavez.
When all is said and done at the end of this season, Atlanta’s trade for Iglesias (and the dominoes that fell after that) could well be the best move any team made at the MLB trade deadline.